‘If any of you f…. this up for our club you will deal with me’
We live in an age where people now film their crimes, apparently, in the hope it might earn them a few more likes.
With that in mind Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy took to Zoom this week to deliver a heavy spray to his Storm players before they return to training on Monday.
Witnesses say it was Bellamy at full tilt.
"There's a few of you guys who are out of control with social media," Bellamy told the players.
"When you are back Monday, it's banned."
The Storm players quickly got the message but, just to be sure, Bellamy promised "If any of you f…. this up for our club then you will have to deal with me".
All social media will now go through the club.
The spray brings in Josh Addo-Carr. Bellamy is livid at Addo-Carr's camping trip but is waiting for his winger to return to Melbourne this week to talk face-to-face.
SOME clubs are taking their player appearances online in a bid to work with sponsors.
Clubs have agreements with sponsors that players will make various appearances throughout the year.
So some of the clever clubs - including the Wests Tigers - are lining up zoom meetings between their star players and their sponsors.
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THERE has been sweeping change at the NRL given Todd Greenberg's departure and there could be similar moves afoot at the International Rugby League level. The game's international body may also undergo some big modifications.
BENNETT AT ODDS WITH PREMIER
SOUTHS coach Wayne Bennett has inadvertently revealed how tough it is for the NRL to control errant players, as the season threatens to be shutdown before it even resumes.
Bennett is so highly regarded he was included on the Innovation Committee charged with getting the season up and running - a strategy that nearly came undone this week when Josh Addo-Carr, Latrell Mitchell and Tyronne Roberts-Davis broke social distancing laws and were fined by police and the NRL.
Nathan Cleary escaped police punishment but was fined by the NRL after photos and video emerged of a group of female friends at his house.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said of the breaches: "The word 'disappointing' does not begin to cut it."
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said a repeat would threaten the whole season.
Bennett holds a lofty position in rugby league as one of the wiser heads who always makes decisions for the good of the game.
Yet Bennett told reporters they were "drama queens" for believing Mitchell's actions - which have resulted in police fines and charges - were even worth reporting when asked for a reaction.
It seems in direct opposition to the Premier, Deputy Premier and the reason he is on the Innovation Committee in the first place - which has focused more heavily on biosecurity than any other. Bennett has used such passive aggressive approaches to shape how stories are reported for years.
It is an old tactic.
But with the stakes so high it questions how Bennett is allowed to continue in his role on the Innovation Committee if, behind the scenes, he is preaching a different sermon.
Who does Mitchell trust?
If, privately, the coaches don't believe it is serious, what hope the players?
CUNNINGHAM ZOOMS IN TO ENTERTAIN CHILDREN
WHILE isolation for many athletes has meant extended hours at home with nothing to do, for Sydney Swans players it has proven a great time to give back to some of the state's most vulnerable youth.
In a partnership that has now lasted 20 years with children's charity Redkite, Swans players have lauded the weekly opportunity to visit hospitals around Sydney to speak with children battling serious illnesses. Sadly, due to the coronavirus pandemic these visits had to be put on hold indefinitely. But Sydney's Redkite ambassador Harry Cunningham found a solution familiar to everyone now working from home - Zoom video calls.
Over an hour on Wednesday, Swans players broadcast themselves singing, juggling and answering all the kids' questions.
"(Being in isolation) you can fall into the trap of thinking you're in a pretty bad situation when there are obviously people doing it far worse than you in a pretty tough situation," Cunningham said.
"So when Horse (Swans coach John Longmire) reached out to me to see if there was anything we could still do, I definitely jumped at the opportunity."
Cunningham admitted what brought out the biggest smiles was him showing his silly side.
"Something I think I have gotten a bit good at over the past few years has been making a fool of myself - I know it certainly brings a smile to the kids' faces."
- Nathan Hassett
CONNOR Watson has spent his time in isolation studying how to play dummy half.
Watson is likely to wear the Knights' No.9 jersey after hooker Jayden Brailey was ruled out for the year with a knee injury.
Watson isn't unfamiliar to the role having started eight games there last year and filling the role off the bench.
However, he is yet to cement himself as a week-to-week rake.
"Me and Ads (coach Adam O'Brien) spoke about that after Brails (Brailey) went down with the injury," Watson said. "It sucks to lose him, he was playing so well. We are going to miss him.
"It's a good opportunity for me to play in that role."
The off-contract Watson has spent his 76-game career as a utility.
However, he believes dummy half is his "best position".
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I've come a long way in my passing over the past couple of years - but I have been working on that.
"Being fast off the mark and doing some work on speed and my take-off. You can't really do too much else until you have players around you."
BLAST FROM THE PAST: NOEL GOLDTHORPE
183 top grade games (Western Suburbs 6, St George 106, Hunter Mariners 14, Adelaide 22, North Queensland 35) from 1990-2000. Three Super League games for NSW.
Had it not been for a meeting with then St George coach Brian Smith early in 1992, Noel Goldthorpe's career would have ended after just five games for Western Suburbs.
Goldthorpe had all but given up hope of furthering his first grade career at the Magpies, and was resigned to returning to the St George area to play local footy with his mates.
"I had a mutual friend with Brian Smith and he asked if I was interested in him talking to Brian," Goldthorpe said.
"Brian and I got together and had a chat and his first question to me was 'why would I sign you, I already have four halfbacks and don't need another'.
"I said 'I've played against all your halfbacks and I'm better than them'.
"I wasn't being cocky I just thought I could do a better job.
"He gave me a trial with the reserve grade side, then the next week with first grade - and it went from there."
By the end of the season Goldthorpe was wearing the No.7 jersey for the Dragons against Brisbane in St George's 28-8 grand final loss.
"I made $10,000 that whole year," Goldthorpe said.
"Here I was playing against Allan Langer. Money didn't matter. I would've done it for nothing.
"It was a dream considering I was going to play local footy that year."
Goldthorpe, who works for a Sunshine Coast RV company, played in two more losing deciders for St George before stints with Hunter Mariners, Adelaide and North Queensland.
He was dropped at the Mariners for Brett Kimmorley after starring for NSW during the Super League Tri-series. He joined the Rams the following season.
"I didn't want to go to Adelaide," Goldthorpe said.
"After spending the Tri-series under Tim Sheens I wanted to join him at the Cowboys. There were a couple of weeks before the start of the comp and their chief executive Liz Dawson asked what it would take for me to join the Rams. I told them what I needed and she said yes straight away. I should've asked for double."
He finally joined the Cowboys the next season but finished with an indifferent two years.